In August 1970, Allan Hailstone left London for holiday in Cape Town, Cairo, Nairobi, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Salisbury in Rhodesia (now Harare in Zimbabwe). There were no UK consular links in Rhodesia. The only air link to it was from apartheid South Africa so he had to travel there from Johannesburg, then return to Johannesburg.
Racism was the way of life in South Africa. In one image, we see a chair reserved for ‘whites only’ at the top of Table Mountain to a Leyland bus in Nairobi. He stayed in a luxury hotel, where his suite of rooms was just £5 a night.
His photographs how us a different time. We’ll start with is a remarkable picture of his flight over the Pyramids into Egypt.
Mr Hailstone, originally from Coventry, took scores of pictures, from street scenes in what was then Rhodesia. When Ian Smith announced Rhodesia had become a republic on 2 March 1970 he was breaking the country’s last links with Britain. Rhodesia’s status went largely unrecognised by the international community – just as Prime Minister Smith’s unilateral declaration of independence from the UK five years earlier.
As the BBC calls it: “The severing of the country’s 80-year-old ties with Britain effectively blocked the UK government’s wish to guide its former colony towards majority black rule. White rule in Rhodesia finally ended when Mr Smith stepped down on 1 June 1979, handing power to an interim administration led by Bishop Muzorewa.”
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